Preparing for Seattle

Dec. 15, 2001

ATLANTA– – Looking to end the season on a positive note, the Georgia Tech football team has begun preparations for the inaugural Seattle Bowl, in which the Yellow Jackets (7-5) will face 11th-ranked Stanford (9-2) on Dec. 27 at 4 p.m. EST at Seattle’s Safeco Field.

The Jackets, who began practice after final exams ended Friday, will continue to work out in Atlanta until departing for the Pacific Northwest on Thursday, Dec. 20.

“I want this team to work hard but have a lot of fun in preparations for this bowl game,” said Tech interim head coach Mac McWhorter. “It’s been a long, long year, and obviously we didn’t meet the expectations that were set for us at the onset. Because of that, I really think the team needs to finish on a good positive note.

“My goal is, number one, to win the football game, obviously. In the process, I’m determined to make it a very positive experience for the players and let them show their leadership.

“Right now I’m looking for the character of this team to rise to the top. Obviously, we’ve had a lot of distractions, and I want to get them focused on winning this football game.”

Several players missed Saturday’s morning workout with McWhorter’s blessing. Seniors Sean Gregory, Jason Kemble, Russell Matvay, Alex Tetterton and Richard McCabe, as well as former player Matt Miller, were busy graduating, receiving their degrees at Tech’s fall commencement ceremonies.

McWhorter said he welcomes the opportunity to work with both the veterans and the younger players. “The great thing about a bowl game is that we have 13 extra practices,” he said. “We only get 15 practices in the spring, so this is 13 extra opportunities to get better. We’d like to get the younger kids some extra reps, but when you have two weeks off, all the players are a little rusty. We’ve got to get our timing back and get into a groove.” Quarterback A.J. Suggs (Powder Springs, Ga.) has begun taking reps with the varsity for the first time this fall. Suggs sat out this season after transferring from Tennessee but is eligible to play in the bowl game, behind starter George Godsey (Tampa, Fla.) and backup Andy Hall (Cheraw, S.C.).

Freshman quarterback Damarius Bilbo (Moss Point, Miss.) underwent surgery on his right thumb last week, correcting a sprained ligament that limited him to one game this fall. –30–

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